Mountains and Volcanoes
Conquering My Fear Of Caves (Again) in Tayangban, Siargao
Ida Damo | Dec 20, 2018
Going inside caves is not my idea of fun. I am not claustrophobic but I like bright and open spaces. The prospect of holding on or brushing on to slimy surfaces and the possibility of getting up close with snakes, spiders, and bats are not things I relish. But I can be coaxed into going inside just like in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and the Okbot Cave in Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
Back in 2016 when the Tayangban swimming hole became popular, I just got photos from Rolan Emilio Garcia and feature it as one of Siargao’s newest attractions. This time, it was my turn to experience it and not just the hole but go through the cave.
I told myself I would just stay at the entrance and just wait for Grace and the Bragamuffins (Mikka, Dana, Kara, and Benedict) to go inside and meet them at the hole after. But the Bragamuffins would not allow me to just stay where I was. And so, yes, with coaxing, I succumbed.
Even if it was lowtide, there were some points where the water inside the cave reached my neck. Standing at 4 feet and 10 inches, what appeared to be just waist high to my companions, was up to my neck water.
I had to let our guide, Kuya Choy, hold my camera and take photos while following his instructions to Ismael (smile).
The walls were as expected slimy but I always reminded myself not to hold on to them because these were stalactites and stalagmites that would die from my acidic hands. I held on to bamboo handholds and my companions as we navigated inside the cave.
Surprisingly, the rocks at the bottom were not slippery and so it was up and down over boulders, wet and cold on the water, and trying to keep my mouth shut in order not to drink water from both above and below.
There was a chamber that was huge with different rock formations where we stopped to recoup energy and then off again to where the light was at the end of the cave.
Tayangban cave ends in a bluish pool of water where you can swim in or exchange stories with your companions as you recall what happened inside the cave.
Or you can jump down the cliff into the water as if the adventure inside the cave was not enough.
So there it is… Tayangban cave turned out fun after all.
How to get there:
Major airlines now have flights to Siargao from Manila, Cebu, and Davao.
From General Luna, hire a van/motorcycle/ to get to Tayangban cave in Pilar. As of October 2018, entrance fee to the cave is PhP70. Get Kuya Choy to be your guide. He’s funny.